Araceli Gallego, Founder of @goshopia_official
Can you describe yourself in a couple of words?
Spanish, Mum of a beautiful girl, Founder of @dubaifashionnews, @goshopia_official and keynote speaker
How has your sustainable journey started?
I have always been a green heart, but my battle was mostly with plastic and deforestation. I never saw my closet as part of the problem. Until a good day, I was invited to a Fashion Revolution meet up and they shared some statistics. I realised how also my sartorial decisions were impacting and not only the environment, but also the people part of the supply chain. That made me become a conscious fashionista today.
What is your vision and how do you think you add value to the community?
I started Goshopia.com as a frustrated consumer, there are some struggles I was going through when making my closet eco-friendlier. I would spend hours and hours searching online for different options to later find that they were not shipping to my location or that they shipping cost was super high- normally also translating into a higher carbon footprint.
As sustainable fashion is mostly created by independent designers and small brands, I wouldn’t find different styles for different occasions easily. That is why in Goshopia you can find different designers, with different styles, with different price points and options for different occasions. Like a virtual mall for slow & sustainable brands.
Can you tell us more about your brand?
Goshopia is the first emarketplace for slow & sustainable fashion in the Middle East. Designers and brands that want to join need to follow at least one of our 3 S´s or core values: Slow, Sustainable and Socially Responsible.
Can you share a couple of practical examples on your sustainable living practices that would be useful to the others?
- I use soap, shampoo and conditioner in bars to avoid the plastic bottles.
- We are careful recycling what we cannot avoid, I plant the seeds from our vegetables and compost the rest of food scraps;
- I use my stainless steel water bottle-instead of plastic bottles;
- We also do our own yogurt with kefir grains.
- When washing the clothes, I use a Cora Ball to catch microfibers in the washing machine and use cold water.
Since when do you live in the UAE?
Why do you love this place?
Dubai has a magic energy. A “can-do”, “nothing is impossible” attitude that it is refreshing and addictive. Then the mix of cultures is awesome. We have so many friends with amazing stories each with very different backgrounds.
If you would get a magic stick what would you improve and make better?
I would greenify the Emirates and the World! Having more trees planted can make a real difference. So, we partnered with OneTreePlanted.org and every purchase translates as a tree planted. We will reforest the World one garment at a time!
Where do you like doing your grocery and why?
We always go walking to our neighboring supermarkets. We like the fact that the staff knows us and there is a real connection that feels like living in a little village even though we live in the heart of the Marina.
What is your favourite eco-brand?
It depends on what. I love the Good Karma for kitchen utensils. Eggs & Soldiers for my baby stuff. And when it comes to clothing, of course… Goshopia! 😉
What is your favourite eco-friendly restaurant or cafe?
Life N’One and Wild & the Moon.
The best way to spend time with family and friends?
We are Spanish and Mediterranean people like always gathering around food. We love doing small gatherings at home. We get together, cook something, and eat i sharing jokes, stories, and plans. Normally it goes close to dinner time but there you get to have great quality time that normally is so difficult to get.
How do you spend your free time?
I love spending time with my family. Specially doing something creative and crafty with my daughter. Also, I am addicted to learning… So, my free time I get to do courses, listen to podcasts, and watch tutorials. For many people that wouldn’t be free time, but it is something I really enjoy. My favorite podcasts are 99% invisible, wardrobe crises, and conscious chatter.
The best recent discovery in the UAE?
Well, with the quarantine we have discovered the power of community. Checking on our neighbours through windows and balconies and feeling we are not alone. In such a big crowded city, it is so nice!
Do you recycle and how?
I recycle as much as I can. I bought some Ikea containers where we separate for the different recycling bins easier. But we try to avoid having to recycle if possible, going for no packaging if possible- like shampoo bars and soaps. I also compost for my plants with food scraps and plant the seeds of my food. For some reason, my cat loves them, and they don’t get to grow too big but well, I am happy she is getting some salad!
What is the best way to learn about sustainability and green living?
Having an open mind, being curious and doing research. Most of the times, it is just common sense. We got far too comfortable and we stopped questioning why X is better than Y and what are my reasons to be buying Z.
Goshopia is one of our partners in spreading Green practices in the UAE and providing sustainable alternatives to consumers. Subscribe to receive the list of our promo codes and know more about our initiatives and partners network.